Sanibel Artist Brings Holocaust Stories to Life Through Art

Myra Roberts Artwork

Combining her passion for art and an appreciation for history, Sanibel-based artist Myra Roberts will display her art collections in a special gallery opening at Hodges University on January 26, 2017.

Presenting ‘Dream Peace: Images of Holocaust Horrors and Heroes,’ Roberts will host an exhibit of her works, including “Hidden in the Trees,” “Project Tolerance: The Faces of Anne Frank,” “Angels on Earth” and “Smokescreen: Prelude to the 1940s.” The artwork will remain on display through March 2017. Roberts will also present a painting dedicated to Southwest Florida philanthropist Myra Janco Daniels, which features Daniels and her family.

“Through Myra’s paintings, she preserves stories and faces for future generations. This is important and meaningful to Myra in terms of educating the public on these issues and the history so it is not forgotten or repeated,” explained Barbara Hawkes, director of community outreach and director of the Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning at Hodges.

Roberts is a recipient of the 2016 WGCU Makers Award for her social activism and art. Her paintings can be found in public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, she has published three books showcasing her many paintings. 

In addition to the art gallery opening, Roberts will host two lectures on the university’s Naples campus. From 1:00-2:30 p.m. on January 31, Roberts will show a special video created by Emmy award-winning producer Jesse Stein, owner of Stein-O-Mite Media in Southwest Florida. Stein has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, working at Major League Baseball Productions, NHL Productions and ESPN.

During this lecture, Roberts will also discuss her works of social commentary. Her goal is to raise the consciousness of future generations about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and because light can emerge out of darkness, a dream of peace.

Ann-JacobsFrom 1:00-2:30 p.m. on February 20, guests will hear from World War II hero Robert Hilliard and Holocaust survivor Steen Metz. Hilliard helped to liberate Dachau concentration camp months after the war ended. Discovering sick and starving prisoners who were not receiving the proper help from the U.S. government or Jewish relief organizations, Hilliard and a fellow GI, Edward Herman, began a letter-writing campaign to seek funds from Americans. The letters caught the attention of President Harry Truman, as well as the New York Times.

In addition to Hilliard’s story, guests will also hear from Steen Metz, who was deported, along with his parents, to Theresienstadt concentration camps in 1943 at 7 years of age. Losing his father to starvation after only six months in the camp, he and his mother were liberated in April 1945.

The art gallery opening is free to attend; however, the lectures are $10 each or $15 for both. All interested individuals must register to attend. To register, visit

For more information, contact April May at amay@hodges.eduor (239) 598-6153.

Aboutthe Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning:
Hodges University's Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning was established in 1996 by the university and local leaders as the first lifelong learning program in Collier County. The CLL provides quality year-round educational programs for adults in the community.

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